A Missouri Judge ruled today that it is not a crime to run over a motorcyclist three times.
On May 16, 2008, a Friday, a Springfield biker named Dwight “DJ” Parker got an early start on his weekend and went for a ride. He was 44-years-old. He did not make it to 45 because he forgot that motorcycles are cloaks of invisibility.
Parker stopped for a red light at the corner of Scenic Avenue and Battlefield Road.
A tractor-trailer rig loaded with beer and driven by a man named Dale Adney pulled up behind Parker. When the light turned green Parker paused to look right and left for red light runners. When Parker paused Adney ran over him. There were multiple witnesses.
Specifically Adney ran over Parker three times. The initial impact knocked Parker down. Then Adney ran over him with the front steering axle and both drive axles of his truck. (See photo above.)
After an investigation, Green County prosecutors concluded that Adney had acted with “criminal negligence.” Their theory was that anybody might had run over Parker once but that after the first bump a responsible driver would have immediately stopped. He had to have seen Parker when he pulled up to the light. If he had paused after the first bump he might have noticed that the motorcycle was not accelerating away from him. And, if he had only run over Parker once instead of three times, prosecutors concluded, Parker would have lived.
The truck driver was charged with second-degree involuntary manslaughter and he finally went on trial this week.
Jury Not Needed
The prosecution presented the case against Adney and when they were done the defense asked the presiding judge, a local law and order advocate named Thomas Mountjoy, to dismiss the jury and directly issue a verdict of not guilty.
Mountjoy agreed that no crime had been committed.
The court issued a press release that the “finding” in the case was “…that as a matter of law the defendant’s actions were not a gross deviation from the standard of care required. Judge Mountjoy noted that there were not any Missouri cases dealing with the issue of criminal negligence in this context. With this ruling the jury was not given the case to decide and the defendant was discharged. The State does not have the right to appeal this ruling so the case is now concluded.”